This post is sponsored by Chesapeake Bay Candles. All work and opinions are my own.
For military families, moving is just part of life. Every two to three years (and sometimes sooner, or sometimes longer), military families put all of their possessions in boxes and ship them across the country–or across the world. And while, yes, a home is where the heart is or where your family is or where the [insert branch here] takes you, it can sometimes take a little time to make home feel like home.
So how do you speed it up? (After all, you only have two or three years of being in that home before you go to another!)
1. Decorate with the things you love
It can be tempting just to buy things to fill your home–especially when you need some retail therapy. However, I’ve found that it’s better in the long run (and your PCS weight will thank you) if you only buy and keep things that you truly love. You’ll end up with fewer boxes that never get unpacked, and the things that you have emotional connections to–or just really like the look of–will make your house feel much more like home, no matter where you are.
I always tend to lean towards handmade pieces that are unique– their stories remind me of all of the people and places I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. I have a beautiful painting of one of my favorite locations in Fredericksburg, VA (one of our hometowns for three years), a handmade ceramic tile of a hydrangea from a local artist, and crystal candlesticks owned by my grandparents that we used in our wedding. Those pieces always get a special place of honor no matter where we live.
2. Use familiar scents
Clean and set up the kitchen, then bake some cookies. The smell will be a welcome change, especially if you’ve spent the last few weeks (or months) eating takeout. Not ready to bake yet? Candles– like these from Chesapeake Bay Candle– can provide relaxing, pleasing scents in a house that might smell like paint or another family right now.
Chesapeake Bay Candles are the perfect option for this. The Alassis collection offers fragrance medleys including Black Currant and Rosewood (No. 8), Colbalt Waters and Driftwood (No. 10), Neroli and Bergamot (No. 11), and Verbena and Cedar (No. 14). Calming and distinctive, any of these scents will help your family feel comfy in no time. (And by the way, they’re soy based, hand blown, and designed and poured in the United States. Double win.)
3. Unpack quickly
It can be really tempting to let everything stay boxed (especially if you hate unpacking as much as I do), but the longer you let things stay in boxes, the longer you’ll feel like you’re in transition and not really “living” in your house. It depends on the layout of your house, but if you’re able, unpacking the kitchen and the living room first can make your home feel instantly more put together and you can start preparing meals and getting back into a routine fast.
4. Find the light
Your home might have some lighting issues, especially if you live in base housing. Bright, harsh overhead lighting can make your home seem industrial or clinical… and definitely not like home Maybe you don’t have any lighting in some rooms. Change it by getting creative. Use light bulbs that emit warm light, find lamps (thrift shops on- and off-base can be your friend) for a few bucks, and think about using string lights to create ambiance. If you hate rooms being dark at night during deployment, invest in timers that can easily turn lights on and off for you. When you’re in the room, light candles and enjoy the coziness. A three-wick candle, like Alassis No. 10, has a longer burn-time (this one has 65 hours) and will emit more light.
Moving feels like a monumental task– and it never seems to get easier. But having a plan (and a few tricks up your sleeve) can make all the difference when your family is settling in.